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January 26, 2011

Latest incident another embarrassment for Ric Flair

I don’t know what’s sadder, Ric Flair tarnishing his legacy in the ring or embarrassing himself away from the ring.

The Internet Wrestling Community has been buzzing the past two days about an incident involving Flair during TNA’s European tour. According to reports, Flair asked a member of TNA management for a cash advance in Dublin, Ireland, earlier this week, and after his request was denied, Flair refused to get on the bus to the airport. He ended up being left behind in Dublin while the rest of the crew flew to Germany for the next show.

After missing Tuesday’s event in Berlin, Flair was expected to return to the tour for Thursday’s show in Glasgow, Scotland.

It has been reported that the reason Flair asked for the cash advance was because his credit card was declined after he had said that he was paying everyone’s bar tab after the show. According to a report on pwinsider.com, this was not the first time there had been this type of incident with Flair during the past year.

Flair has often boasted that he “lived the gimmick” for much of his career, and the limousines, heavy partying and excessive spending were truly a way of life. Apparently, “The Nature Boy” has gotten older but he hasn’t gotten any wiser.

One TNA talent, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told pwinsider.com: “Flair’s asked several of us for money when he’s had his credit cards declined. When that happens, the bar tab comes and others get stuck paying for the very drinks he said were on the house in the first place. Everyone loves ‘The Nature Boy,’ but when the limousines and party lifestyle is based on bad credit and lies, it suddenly becomes more pathetic than anything else. There is nothing glamorous about a guy who has no concept of money management and then lies to try and get out of it.”

Flair has become no stranger to making headlines for the wrong reasons in recent years. Less than a year ago, Flair's wife (his fourth) was charged with assaulting him. In 2008, his then-22-year-old daughter was charged with assault on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest. Eyewitnesses said at the time that Flair, his daughter and her boyfriend were involved in a fight that left Flair bloodied and bruised. In 2005, Flair was charged in a road rage incident when he was accused of grabbing a motorist by the neck.

Flair also had two lawsuits filed against him last year. Highspots.com claimed that Flair failed to repay a $35,000 loan, and Ring of Honor sued him for breach of contract and money owed after Flair pulled out of scheduled appearances for the company.

It will be interesting to see what – if anything – happens regarding Flair’s status in TNA after the tour is over. Reportedly, some of the TNA talent has pushed for the company to release Flair.

Personally, I think the guy is in serious need of an intervention. It seems pretty obvious that Flair – who turns 62 next month – just can’t come to grips with the fact that the days of being “The Nature Boy” 24/7 realistically should have ended years ago.

Instead of being a dignified elder statesman and a role model for the young guys on the TNA roster, Flair has become an old-timer with significant financial and personal issues who, according to reports, was mocked by the young guys for his irresponsible and immature behavior in Dublin.

I sincerely hope that at some point he can be content playing Ric Flair on screen while being Richard Fliehr the well-adjusted husband, father and grandfather off it.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 11:41 PM | | Comments (36)
        

Comments

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Just wondering other then Internet dirt sheets [who along with anonymous sources are never reliable] do you have any confirmation on this story.I ask cause the sun in London which is covering the tour has not printed the story and from all reports Flair was never scheduled to be in Germany as his next appearance was for Scotland.

RESPONSE FROK KE: There are some legitimate wrestling websites out there with credible reporters. To paint all of them with a wide brush by calling them dirt sheets is wrong.

I wasn"t around when he was tearing down the house with ricky steamboat , Harley Race et all. my memories of flair are more of Evolution onwards to the incredible WM24 retirement to the best possible sendoff , a respected LEGEND now with TNA , but now all accounts a BIG JOKE .... just dont know when to quit !!

This is absolutely pathetic. Flair has made more money just in his 1 year in TNA alone than most people in a middle class career make in 20 years. And he's STILL BROKE?? Ok seriously, first of all, why is he still paying bar tabs for the entire roster?? It's not an ego boost when you have to BORROW money to represent the "wheelin-dealin" lifestyle.

And secondly, FOURTH wife?? Why the heck is this guy still signing marriage licenses? Didn't the first, second and third alimony payments teach him any kind of lesson?? Words of wisdom for all the guys out there....live with a steady girlfriend and have a life-long committed relationship if you so choose...don't sign anything!

But Flair will legally bind himself to a marriage, and of course, being the "Nature Boy", he'll inevitably cheat on his wife, and then have a life-long 200K alimony payment and then will have to bleed on indy shows in front of 30 people to make ends meet.
Perhaps he needs to learn a lesson about success inside AND outside the ring from his two biggest fans, Shawn and Hunter.

I really hope someone steps in for him to get him to calm down and think of his future.

It won't be the same if he tries the Indy scene again this time either as the "bus ridin, infrequent flyin, working security for KISS on the side, son of a gun."

It's a shame to see Flair struggling with his insistence on living the Nature Boy persona long into what should be his retirement.

TNA management has done nothing but tarnish the reputation of Flair, allowing him to constantly blade himself on TV, and become the freak show of TNA.

Someone needs to save him from himself before it's too late.

And every day Bruno Sammartino's star shines a little bit brighter in comparison.

"Randy the Ram" comes to life.

What a shame.....

It breaks my heart to see how far Flair has fallen. I live in Charlotte and Flair has been the biggest celebrity in town with the one exception possibly being Dale Earnhardt. Before Charlotte ever got the Hornets or Panthers franchise, it was racing or rasslin' here that was on the marquis (as the Naitch would say). Flair never paid for a meal, and went where he pleased and was a guest at all the high profile events in town. Recently even in Charlotte he has become a joke. He has a reputation in town for being bad pay and is no longer welcome at places that used to bring him in with open arms. In the 80's his money was no good anywhere he went in town, and now it is his credit card that is no good...I have often heard that you may not want to meet your hero's because you may be disappointed in what you find. While I would never say that a professional athlete or performer would be a hero to me (Well, Cal Ripken may come as close as you can to that status...but still not there) it is still sad to see that Richard Morgan Fliehr is really a sad, pathetic figure. I am not sure that the Nature Boy will ever be able to change and death may be the only thing that can break his horrible financial habits. I think the bus leaving him behind may be one of the best things that anyone coudl do for him and all of the people that are enabling his behavior should be ashamed of themselves. I guess everyone wants their own little piece of celebrity and Flair is desparate enough to give them what they want. Of course this is and has always been at the expense of the people who truly do care about him. I hope that his life one day gets straightened out, but I am afraid that he may be too far gone at this point.

KEvin,

Come on.

Flair has never exactly been a poster boy for good behavior.

I recall years ago bumping into him and his entourage at a restaurant in LIttle Italy one day by chance. His demeanor out of the ring was very much in line with his in ring personality.

If anyone is a fan of Ric Flair today, then it's only because they're not watching anymore. ;)

Gah. This is just...sadder than sad. Nothing I can say that won't reiterate what you laid out, but the fact that a guy who was on or near the top of the card for most of his career never planned for the future? I mean, we hear about jobbers and mid-carders in dire financial straits, but to have Ric Flair begging money because his credit cards are declined? WTF.

Then again, maybe he shouldn't have gotten married seventeen times. Ex-wives are expensive if you accumulate enough of them.

Kev...
I couldn't agree with you more.....I loved Flair, Flair was the Man-I have met him several times-to fans, there is no one nicer-but after the Greg Price/NWA fiasco, plus the other personal issues you mentioned which have aired in the media....Flair is honestly in trouble as a person and desparately needs to transition into a real person with responsibilities instead of trying to still be "the Man".

As long as he is allowed to do what he does, he won't change. The WWE saw where he was heading and just let him go. Now TNA signs him, puts him in a position of top billing and being in matches he has no business being in and people wonder why he acts the way he does? Yes he is responsible, but as long as he is allowed to run wild he will. It is sad, he had the chance to walk away and do it right but has blown it. You can to a degree say the same thing about Hulk Hogan, both need to know there time has passed.

maybe in stead of WOOOOOOO! it should be WOAAAAAAAAAH!

Makes Chris Jericho's storyline for WM25 look reasonable.

I can[t watch TNA for the very reason I don't want to see Flair. I am a huge Flair fan. I saw him live back in the territory days many, many times. But now it's past time for Flair to gracefully bow out of Wrestling. He could have been a phenomenal mentor to young wrestlers, but now he's more an example of what not to do.
Diamonds are forever, but maybe Ric Flair isn't.

Kevin,I could not agree with more. Ric has become a JOKE! Which is sad. His blood baths and ring antics on TNA have become RIDICULOUS! It's fine for him to be in the business but he needs to get out of the ring. He sould have dob=ne that years ago. Personally, I think Ric wants to die in the ring. No woooo here.

Just for the record I think your being really hard on Flair without knowing all the real details? This is just my opinion but if Flairs card did decline at the bar what choice did he have other than get an advance on his pay? And why did this member of tna mgmt refuse to give him his advance? Maybe he should be fired? If flair is guilty of anything it seems to me its his generosity always wanting to buy everybodys drinks.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Buying rounds and being the life of the party is fine IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY. If you can't cover the tab. then don;t buy the drinks. Pretty simple, really. Why should he get an advance for being irresponsible?

You're wondering what will happen next? Let's see...this is TNA, so my guess is they will write it into the next episode of Impact. Flair will come out to do a shoot interview, calling out the front office for not bailing him out because "The Nature Boy is too big to fail! WOOOO!!" That will lead to a match between Flair and the newly signed Million Dollar Man at the next pay-per-view. If Flair wins, his European bar tabs are paid. If he loses, DiBiase has a new butler.

I think people are confusing their anger at having marked out for Flair's retirement (and him then appearing in TNA) for anger over this non-story.

"Wrestler is irresponsible with money" is hardly man bites dog, least of all when we're talking about Ric Flair.

He's still the man... & anyone who don't like it can WHOOOOOOOOOooooo

RESPONSE FROM KE: There's a much larger issue here than just Flair appearing in TNA after his retirement.

The more I see of Ric Flair in TNA, the happier I am that Shawn Michaels has thus far kept his promise of not returning to the ring. Bow out gracefully and your legacy will live forever.

Sad. Just so sad. I don't think the comparison to Randy the Ram is that appropriate though. The Ram actually toiled in the indys at the end...the money and big payday simply dried up. Flair was a top-level talent for 20 years and then even after that, WWE kept him working and doing stuff appropriate for his age and status. And then even after that, TNA snatched him up. TNA might not be WWE and certainly isn't the same payday, but it's not an indy and should be able to provide Flair all the money he needs...provided he doesn't squander it and is smart about it. Which is the rub...because Flair isn't smart concerning money. Never has been and without intervention, may never be.

I don't know who, if anyone, Ric Flair listens to. Maybe his family. Maybe Arn or JJ. Maybe Vince or someone of that level and stature could get through. But that's not really Vince's job and ultimately, The Nature Boy...is a man. A 62-year old man who should know better. I (along with many others including yourself) cringe at what Ric has done and been relegated to in TNA. But can you imagine if they actually let him go? If he truly is struggling for money...the Ric Flair story may very well turn into the Randy the Ram story. Except with an even more tragic ending.

Kev why are you letting all these people get to you. Flair was problably the greatest in-ring preformer in history he had a very basic style but could entertain you for hours but as far as outside the ring Flair is Flair it's sad but true people should take his life story and be thankful for theirs. i do think by now Flair is to old to change his way I was hoping hanging around HHH would have helped him because he did that with the Clique but was smart enough when they left got his life together and look at him now as much as I don't like him for him holding down talent i do respect what he has done wioth his life as far as family is concearned.

I'm just waiting for the Credit-Repair-on-a-Pole match.

It's sad to see what has become of Ric Flair. Maybe he should read the biography of Gorgeous George. He might have learned something and maybe wouldn't be where he is now.

What happened to the gyms that Flair once owned? Do you know Kevin?

People who can't see the true problem here of Flair's addiction to the "party life" and just say "you're being too hard of the living legend" is dumb. Just dumb. People like SEAN need to realize that offering to buy things, not having the money to buy said things, requesting money advances for ill-advised said purchases, and then refusing to follow through on contracted obligations because money was not given is a terrible person to champion for. There is no middle ground, there is no pity party required. Just poor behavior for a pathetic affair.

I'm probably the biggest Flair mark that you'll ever meet. Its sad to see how him this way. At 62 years old, he shouldn't be still performing in the ring and after being a legend in wrestling, he shouldn't be the butt of jokes by the "boys in the back".

I sincerely hope that Flair gets his act together and is finally able to separate his in-ring/on camera persona from reality.

I've been a Flair mark for a long time (his feud with a young Sting made me a fan). He's lived the gimmick and I'll always remember him for that. But his time as the hard-partying Nature Boy is over. The longer he ignores this truth, the worse it'll be for him.

If he continues to be around the ring, good for him, but his antics and lifestyle have to change. His role as a wrestler is over... but he can still be a mentor and a guiding force to the younger talent (in and out of the ring).Learning from a man who's seen it all and done it all would be a memorable experience. It's a shame that now he's more of a guide for what NOT to do, what not to become.

Rick has a choice to make. One that could do much to repair his reputation, improve his financial situation, and ensure that he remains with his present employers... However, even at 62 years of age and 40-odd years in the business , it seems that Rick Flair isn't mature enough to make the right one.

--tMs

I saw Ric wrestle at London tonight. I also saw his "retirement match" while on holiday in Orlando.

To be there at WM was a a great moment... he has now ruined that legacy.

It was genuinely sad to see a true hero of mine in such a sorry state. And from the second row, I saw him blade himself quite horrifically, and people in the crowd shouting for him to get a bra because he has the physique of a 62 yr old man.

Very sad

Frank in Dundalk - HHH married the boss' daughter. It's easy to "change your ways" when your wife is heir to billions AND you get to book the shows.

As for Ric, it is truly sad. He used to know how the business worked - he put over Sting in 1988 on a free TV show on TBS that ran against that year's WM; when Nitro ended he did the job for Sting again; when he "retired" he did the job for HBK. At those times he must have remembered that Jack Brisco jobbed for him to put him over in Tampa circa 1975 or 1976 at the Gasparilla Spectacular Show that used to bring guys from all different territories and even the AWA and then-WWF. It's too bad that he "forgotten" those lessons.

Dear Mr. Eck; Your column on Flair was more then fair. Much worse could (and has) been said. Growing up , my greatest hero was NatureBoy Buddy Rogers. To me, he was somebody who actually walked on water. I was lucky enough to see him in a "comeback" in Detroit during the late 60's. For years and years I idolized Buddy Rogers. But I was scared to to death to try and meet him--what if he was the prick so many of the boys always said he was? So I waited a long time....finally, almost too late, I got to meet him in 1991. And I was very, very lucky. Buddy still walked on water. He became my friend. I consider myself blessed. Which brings me to Ric Flair. For a while, I thought he might be the second coming of Buddy Rogers. I thought he might even become my legitimate pal. That was wishful thinking of my part. Flair was an astute businessman who just wanted to get in my good graces so that his pictures would continue to grace the covers of the Apter mags I worked for...

Ric is a player. He always has been and always will be one.
doesn't everyone know that yet? by the way do you have a $20.00 I could borrow????

Remember to be the man you must be able to pay your bar tab. I pray that Ric Flair will see the light and quit partying his life away. Life is too short Ric ..........
"Slick Ric" needs to be reminded that he is not some SUPER HUMAN and must not keeping spending more than he is making at some point Ric & the U.S.A. need to wake up and realize the simple economics. If you don't have it you can't spend it on 18 year olds partying at 62 yoa. woww... not wooo...

Ok I've watched wrestling for going on 30yrs now and even as a kid could not get what the big deal was with Ric Flair. Was it simply that there was nothing better to compare him to in that region? Cuz for over 20yrs I've seen him pushed and treated like he was amazing while for most of that time he had sagging boobs and could pretty much only take a back drop. Excluding outside interference long before TNA his matches had become nearly identical. Failed attempt at going to the top rope into a back drop some lame punches and then some chops, few thumbs to the eye, maybe a low blow and depending who was supposed to win a figure 4. People talk about him being great at 'putting guys over' but watch his matches mostly the real work involved convincing people Ric was a credible opponent for anyone. Some of the most criticized wrestlers I've seen were in better shape(pretty much anyone he faces), more athletic ability and at least from what he shows in his matches they almost all have more wrestling skill. Yet he is labeled as "The Man' For crying out loud Vince McMahon at his age seems more credible as a wrestler. Don't get me wrong Im not saying you have to be a giant to be a wrestler, far from it, but if u aren't very big (and he never has been) you have to bring something to the table beyond an eye gouge to the table to be anything but laughable against the any style of wrestler, power men should walk over him, high fliers leave him standing still, and even if he has more grappling skill than he shows you have to have strength and leverage to apply/escape holds can you think of any grappler that doesn't have the advantage on him there? Now that the rants through I want to say im not looking to pick a fight. I really want to know why anyone thinks he's great even wrestlers do. I'd love to run into someone in the business to explain it to me but barring that happening can someone here please really explain it...and Im not talking about sayin "HE"S THE MAN!" cuz that will just validate my theory and make it seem that you really dont have a reason so someone exlpain it please

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
E-mail Kevin.
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